Erins Own Lavey v Drumloman Gaels (Colaiste Feirste-Saturday 4-00 pm)
The action in the St. Paul’s-fonaCAB Ulster Minor Club football championship continues tomorrow (Saturday) when Derry champions, Erin’s Own Lavey face Drumloman Gaels of Cavan at Colaiste Feirste. The tournament has thrown up a couple of excellent games to date with a strong Kilcoo of Down already through to the Boxing Day semi-final and the Derry and Cavan champions hoping to join them after tomorrow’s game.
Erin’s Own Cargin v Enniskillen Gaels Fermanagh (St. Paul’s- Sunday 1-00pm)
Sunday is sure to see a big crowd make their way to Shaw’s Road where Antrim champions Cargin take on Enniskillen Gaels. The Toome side were very impressive in their county final win over St. Brigid’s but the jury is still out on the Cargin lads who turned in a number of indifferent performances during their league campaign.
Erin’s Own suffered defeats to All Saints, Tir na nOg, St. Brigid’s, Aldergrove, Kickham’s Creggan and Padraig Sarsfield’s in a poor league campaign but were a completely rejuvenated side when the championship came around.
They began their championship journey when they travelled to the Bear Pit and reversed that league defeat with a good 1-10 to 1-6 win over Sarsfields and that seemed to give the side confidence and a belief in themselves.
St. Gall’s were their semi-final opponents at Lamh Dhearg, the Milltown side had caused an upset by defeating Aldergrove in the semi-final but never the less were installed as favourites against the Toome side.
Cargin had been putting in a lot of work however under the guidance of Brian McCann, Paddy McCann and Darren Craig and carried their recent improvement into that semi-final, emerging 1-10 to 0-10 winners to book a place in the final against St. Brigid’s.
Twenty four points had separated the sides when they met in the league at Musgrave Park and St. Brigid’s semi-final victory over Aldergrove had installed them as the firmest of favourites to lift the Minor title but Cargin hadn’t read the script.
The Toome lads came flying out of the starting blocks to produce a high octane performance that their opponents quite simply couldn’t match and inspired by a master-class from mid-fielder Pat Shivers they ran out deserving winners.
It proved to be a great day for Erin’s Own with Shiver’s going on to play his part as their seniors took the Senior championship title after a replay against Lamh Dhearg and Paddy McCann, Brian McCann and Darren Craig will be hoping to carry that momentum into Sunday’s game.
Their opponents, Enniskillen Gaels are previous winners of the St. Paul’s tournament and serial winners in Fermanagh but are an unknown quantity going into Sunday’s game though I would expect the Cargin management to have done their homework on the Erne champions.
The Antrim champions will bring a big support with them on Sunday and if the game is tight they could prove to be the Cargin’s ‘16th man’ and if they can reproduce their Antrim final form then they are capable of advancing to the semi-final.
Termon- Donegal v Emmyvale-Monaghan (Colaiste Feirste-Sunday 4-00pm)
Donegal champions, Termon make the long journey back to Belfast on Sunday following last week’s win over Silverbridge of Armagh at Colaiste Feirste in a preliminary round game of the fonaCAB-St. Paul’s Ulster Minor club championship.
Their opponents on Sunday, Emmyvale of Monaghan make their bow in the tournament and last week’s successful outing for Termon and an impressive win, may see them start this one as favourites
The Tir Connaill champions had it mostly their own way throughout though they did survive a mighty goalmouth scramble.
The Donegal side led 0-6 to 0-2 after 15 minutes and a goal from the penalty spot from Ryan McFadden saw them push on to a commanding 1-7 to 0-4 lead at the halfway stage and they were good value for that lead.
Despite missing a second penalty Termon pushed on to win fairly comfortably though they are likely to face a stiffer test against the Monaghan champions Emmyvale who played their football in Monaghan at U17 level, winning both league and championship.
The semi-finals will be played on Sunday December 22nd and Thursday 26th December (Boxing Day) with the final again fixed for New Year’s Day, with all three played at St Paul’s